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From Courtesy to CivilityChanging Codes of Conduct in Early Modern England$
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Anna Bryson

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217657

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217657.001.0001

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Civility in Manners: The Emergence of a Concept

Civility in Manners: The Emergence of a Concept

(p.43) 2 Civility in Manners: The Emergence of a Concept
From Courtesy to Civility

Anna Bryson

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the emergence and development of the concept of ‘civility’ in manners. It explores the way in which the appearance of the word ‘civility’ in manners seems to have imported into codes of personal conduct values and constructions of social order associated with the larger meanings of the term. Moreover, since words are not a changing currency distributed among a fixed range of contexts, but actually serve to establish and relate those contexts, the chapter examines what seems to have been a concurrent shift in the perceived relationship between good manners and social order.

Keywords:   good manners, civility, social order, personal conduct

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